"Schools can’t be shut forever", Nigerian virologist justifies reopening

"Schools can’t be shut forever", Nigerian virologist justifies reopening

- A virologist and university don, David Olaleye, has justified the reopening of schools on Monday, January 18

- Olaleye said the reopening is necessitated by the need to strike a balance between the COVID-19 "pandemic and what is right"

- The virologist said the COVID-19 is not showing signs of leaving overnight, meaning schools cannot be shut forever

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Prof. David Olaleye, a professor of virology at the University of Ibadan, has commended the federal government for reopening schools nationwide, attributing the decision to striking a balance between what is right and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Olaleye, who spoke with The Punch in an interview, stated that the coronavirus is not going to leave as seen in the number of cases recorded on daily basis.

"Schools can’t be shut forever" Nigerian virologist justifies reopening
Prof. Olaleye said despite the rise in COVID-19 cases, Schools can’t be shut forever.
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The virologist and varsity don said "school or education is time-bound", adding that leaving the schools closed will hamper the stages of humans' academic progress.

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The federal government had ordered the reopening of schools across the country on Monday, January 18, amid mounting COVID-19 scare.

With the second wave of the virus still wreaking havoc, Nigeria recorded 121,566 confirmed cases, with 97,228 recoveries and 1,504 deaths as the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) announced 964 new cases on Sunday, January 24.

Olaleye said the reopening is a balance between what we have to do (reopening) and the unfortunate situation of the pandemic (COVID-19).

"One basic fact is that this virus is not going to disappear just overnight. Increasing the rate of infection is an indication that the virus is getting adopted to human infection.
"The fact is that respiratory viruses are very difficult to control because of the mode of spread. You know, we are sharing the same air. Then school or education is time-bound. One has to attain a certain level at a certain age."

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Lagos state holds ground, justifies 3 reasons for reopening of schools despite COVID-19

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Meanwhile, the Lagos government has justified the reopening of schools amid a rising surge in the number of COVID-19 cases daily recorded in the state.

Speaking on Tuesday, January 19, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said the decision to reopen schools was reached due to the past experience of students failing to "come back to school."

The governor, who made this disclosure while briefing newsmen at the state house, Ikeja, on COVID-19, said after the first lockdown in 2020, over 24,000 students refused to return to the classrooms.

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